So how will this be different from regular colleges?
Famed atheist Richard Dawkins will be among a group of British academic elites who will launch a new college that will rival top British universities like Oxford.
The New College of the Humanities in central London will offer degrees in English, philosophy, history, economics and law starting from fall 2012.
The private college is founded by 14 professors. Richard Dawkins, author of the bestseller The God Delusion, will teach evolutionary biology and a required course on science literacy.
Other academics include historians Sir David Cannadine and Niall Ferguson, former Oxford professor of poetry Sir Christopher Ricks and psychologist Steven Pinker.
AC Grayling, a well-known British humanist and atheist, will serve as the college’s first master. He is the author of The Good Book: The Humanist Bible, a manifesto for secular humanists that was published in March 2011.
“Our priorities at the college will be excellent teaching quality, excellent ratios of teachers to students, and a strongly supportive and responsive learning environment,” said Grayling.
“Our students will be challenged to develop as skilled, informed and reflective thinkers, and will receive an education to match that aspiration.”
Creators of the new institution say it offers a “new concept” in university education.
Students at New College will take core courses in three areas: Science Literacy, Logic and Critical Thinking, and Applied Ethics. In addition to receiving an undergraduate degree in their area of study, students will be granted a Diploma of New College.
It appears from the website that the college will be affiliated with the University of London. I don’t see an atheist version of a statement of faith or any reference to an ideological agenda. But check out the faculty. Peter Singer will teach the Applied Ethics course! The faculty is exceedingly thin–one literature professor and they will offer an English major? I don’t see how they could pass an American accreditation visit, let alone “rival” Oxford, which, while currently hospitable to atheists, at least has a bigger view of the humanities than is evident here. An atheist version of the humanities would leave out just about every great writer, artist, and thinker.